Pendleton convicted in beating of Frankenberry

July 26, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Berkeley County jury found a Charles Town, W.Va., man guilty Friday for his role in the 1995 kidnapping and beating of an Inwood, W.Va., teenager.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before finding Ricky V. Pendleton, 22, guilty of kidnapping, malicious assault, grand larceny and aggravated robbery.

The jury's recommendation of mercy means Pendleton will not face life in prison with no chance for parole.

"I was pleased to hear the four guilty verdicts, but disappointed to hear the recommendation of mercy because I was shown no mercy," said the victim, Ryan B. Frankenberry, now 20, of Inwood.

Pendleton's sentencing was set for Aug. 31. He faces 10 years to life on the kidnapping charge, two to 10 years for malicious assault, one to 10 years for grand larceny and 10 years to life for aggravated robbery, said Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.


Frankenberry was 17 and looking forward to attending the U.S. Naval Academy, his dream since he was in the fifth grade, when he was attacked on Nov. 28, 1995.

David Wayne Gibson asked him for a ride to his supposedly disabled car. Frankenberry knew Gibson from playing football with him at Musselman High School when Frankenberry was a sophomore.

"He was acting out of kindness and that's the sad thing about this whole case," Games-Neely said.

Gibson and Pendleton got into the car. When Frankenberry pulled over to let them out on Flowing Springs Road, he was dragged outside the car and beaten.

They put him back in his 1987 Porsche and with Pendleton sitting on top of him they drove him to an abandoned stone and brick building near Bakerton Road in Jefferson County where he was beaten again and left for dead.

Frankenberry's face required several reconstructive operations. He still has no vision in his left eye.

Pendleton and Gibson were in New Jersey when state troopers there attempted to pull them over for speeding. A high-speed chase ended in a crash of Frankenberry's car into a swamp.

Troopers fatally shot Gibson and wounded Pendleton.

Games-Neely said the case is a tragedy for three families.

"The Gibson family lost a son. The Pendleton family for all intentions lost a son to prison and look at what the Frankenberry's lost. Their view of the world changed because their son stopped to help someone," Games-Neely said.

In the fall Frankenberry will be a junior at West Virginia University, where he is majoring in political science.

"I'm just glad to be able to move on with my life," he said. "I'm not afraid to do an act of kindness, but it's definitely harder to trust people nowadays."

The Herald-Mail Articles